Thank you for your recent editorial politely asking Senator Coleman to step aside ("Exit with Honor," 1/28/09). Due to the consolidation of nearly all media into fewer and fewer corporate hands, political commentary that suggests anything other than one or another version of the status quo is rare in our society. One must turn to independent sources such as The Nation or In These Times or other thoughtful publications to regularly read anything other than the tainted views of the corporate minions who write for the mainstream press. Though our nation is beset with many seemingly intractable problems, it may well be that the single biggest problem, aside from a deeply antidemocratic economic system, is our profoundly antidemocratic media. An independent, skeptical press is crucial to democracy. The fact that the press in America is little more than a public relations tool for the corporate domination of our lives does not bode well for our nation. I hope you will continue with your editorials and perhaps even add a columnist to comment on the state of our nation's ailing democracy.
Scott J. Raskiewicz
Honor among thieves
It is deplorable and shameful that you would tell a sitting U.S. senator, who won on election night, won in a recount, won again, and then in some magical and mysterious way, loses to Franken after they discover over 1,000 missing ballots, to step down to a man like Franken.
Perhaps you should look at federal law, and into why there are over 1,000 extra voters than people who actually voted in this state before you declare a winner. I know the ends justify the means, but please, you go to prove that every vote should count only when it helps pukes like Franken to get into office. I sure hope he has the experience you crammed down our throats with Palin to do a good job. You make me sick!
No honor among thieves
"I will be a 99 percent improvement over Paul Wellstone"—so spoke newly minted Sen. Norm Coleman. Norm failed to mention by what criteria he was to be judged. In retrospect, he must have meant in the context of being a shameless sycophant and champion of all things Bush/Cheney—so much for the "Exit with Honor" premise. That ship sailed six years ago.
Two years into his first term, Norm was confronted by the unpleasant reality that his benefactors and ticket to achieving his lofty political ambitions were imploding at the hands of their own incompetence and malfeasance. This may have altered slightly his voting record on Bush-friendly legislation, but it certainly didn't stifle his drive for career enhancement.
Don't sell Franken short
I agree with your asking Norm Coleman to pack it in for the sake of the people of Minnesota. But I found some of your comments about Al Franken kind of amusing, specifically, calling him a B-list comedian and a talk-radio hack. Even in a so-called Democratic Wave like '08, to knock off an incumbent U.S. senator is no small feat. Especially with all the special-interest groups throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Franken, his is truly a remarkable win. Not to mention that he was actually born in Minnesota and he is a political-science major from Harvard. Not to call one names, but I think you could use adjectives like "turncoat," "windsock," or "vote only when it is convenient to appear moderate" like Coleman has been so proficient at.
South St. Paul
Nude on the national stage
I cannot say enough how hubristic I found Coleman's exhortations to Franken to concede, though I portended on election night that any recount would assure a win for Franken one way or another, making Coleman look like a complete fool in hindsight. I was similarly disgusted by the way people were allowed to have their votes counted when they very clearly didn't play by the rules of the election, allowing the state to divine "voter intent" by spurious means, or even going so far as to count votes that might not have ever existed.
While there ultimately will be a winner and a loser assigned to this contest, the biggest loser wasn't a candidate. Minnesota's electoral system has been exposed for the joke that it is, despite the efforts of this state's institutions and the Twin Cities establishment who insist that everything is just fine. The emperor is nude indeed.